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116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers

The 116th Congress is making history with a record number of women and many lawmakers breaking racial and religious barriers.

The numbers of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American lawmakers are at new highs, as is the number of lawmakers who are openly LGBT. The new Congress also includes a number of historic firsts, including the first Muslim women and first Native American women to serve.

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The differences between the two parties, though, are stark, with most of the women and an overwhelming number of minority lawmakers on the Democratic side.

Here’s a breakdown of the voting members of the 116th Congress.

Women

The number of women in Congress is at a record high at 127, up from 110 in the last session.

A quarter of the Senate is now female. Of those 25 senators, 17 are Democrats and 8 are Republicans. In the House, there are 102 female lawmakers, with 89 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The midterms also brought a wave of historic firsts, with Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' Omar reintroduces bill seeking to cancel rent, mortgage payments during pandemic We must decolonize our global health systems — It's time to repeal the Helms Amendment MORE (D-Mass.) and Jahana HayesJahana HayesHarris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members Parents of Sandy Hook victims slam Taylor Greene's appointment to Education Committee GOP has growing Marjorie Taylor Greene problem MORE (D-Conn.) becoming the first African-American women to represent their states in Congress. Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBiden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' Biden is thinking about building that wall — and that's a good thing MORE (D-Minn.) became the first Somali-American to serve, and with Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' Progressives push Fed to drive funding away from fossil fuel companies MORE (D-Mich.), was among the first Muslim women. Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarDemocrat: Ex-Trump aide Miller should be jailed for human rights violations Democrats play defense on border crisis Democrats move smaller immigration bills while eyeing broad overhaul MORE (D) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaBiden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (D) also made history as Texas’s first Latina lawmakers. In California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, women hold both Senate seats.

African-Americans

The new Congress is set to have 55 African-American lawmakers in the House and Senate, up from 49 in the previous term.

Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodHHS expands Medicaid postpartum coverage for Illinois mothers up to a year after giving birth Lauren Underwood endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy in Virginia governors race In America, women are frontliners of change MORE (D-Ill.) became the youngest black woman elected to Congress at age 32.

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According to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassShocking killing renews tensions over police 10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Lobbying world MORE (D-Calif.), the CBC will also have a record number of members at 55, including two nonvoting delegates.

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdPence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster Prince Harry joins Aspen Institute commission on misinformation Congress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent MORE (R-Texas) will be the only black Republican in the House. In the upper chamber, there are three African-Americans: Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHouse Budget Committee 'not considering' firing CBO director Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid How to manage migration intensified by climate change MORE (Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally Top Democrat calling for expansion of child care support When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, what's a moderate Democrat to do? MORE (N.J.), and Republican Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottShocking killing renews tensions over police Democrat: 'Registration, engagement' are keys to toppling Sen. Tim Scott in South Carolina Passage of FASTER Act is critical for food allergy community MORE (S.C.)

Hispanics

Congress boasts a record number of Hispanic lawmakers in the current term, at 45.

The total includes 41 in the House and four senators.

The star of the freshman class is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMichigan Democrat says he sought treatment for PTSD after Jan. 6 riot Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' It's time to declare a national climate emergency MORE (D-N.Y.), who has quickly become a progressive icon.

Escobar and Garcia made history as the first Hispanic women elected to Congress from Texas. Rep. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle | Justices dismiss suit over Trump's blocking of critics on Twitter | Tim Cook hopes Parler will return to Apple Store Democrats press Facebook on plans for Instagram for kids Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot MORE (D-Mass.) is the first Portuguese-American woman to be elected to Congress.

The 116th Congress is set to have the largest Congressional Hispanic Caucus in history as it grows to 39 members, including 4 nonvoting members.

Asian-Americans

A record number of 17 Asian-Americans will be serving in this Congress, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.

Among the notable firsts is Rep. Andy Kim (D), who became the first Asian-American ever elected to Congress from New Jersey. 

According to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Kim and Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) bring the total number of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to a historic 20 members. That number includes three nonvoting delegates.

LGBT

The number of LGBT lawmakers is up to 10 from seven. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joins Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinMary Trump joining group that supports LGBTQ+ female candidates Johnson says leaving office after 2022 'probably my preference now' Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package MORE (D-Wis.) in the Senate as the second openly LGBT member of the chamber.

In the House, there are four new LGBT members: Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsIs nonpartisan effectiveness still possible? Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure When infrastructure fails MORE (D-Kan.), Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren Hill Ex-Rep. Katie Hill: 'Gross' for Gaetz to invoke my name Kinzinger is first GOP lawmaker to call on Gaetz to resign Katie Hill on Matt Gaetz: 'I feel betrayed by him' MORE (D-Calif.) and Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasPappas fends off challenge from ex-Trump official in NH Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP primary to take on Pappas MORE (D-N.H.).

More religious diversity

Overwhelmingly, most members of Congress identify as Christian, but there are some notable exceptions.

Tlaib and Omar became the first two Muslim women to win seats in the House. They join André Carson (D-Ind.) and bring the total number of Muslims in Congress to three. Keith EllisonKeith EllisonSunday shows - Infrastructure in the spotlight Omar: Minneapolis community is 'on edge' around Chauvin trial Derek Chauvin trial Day One: Five things to know MORE, who is also Muslim, left Congress to serve as Minnesota attorney general.

The number of Jewish lawmakers in Congress rose from 30 to 34, with 26 in the House and 8 in the Senate. Only two are Republicans — Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinBiden funding decision inflames debate over textbooks for Palestinian refugees Rep. Lee Zeldin announces bid for New York governor Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions MORE (N.Y.) and David KustoffDavid Frank KustoffREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Lobbying world Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (Tenn.)

Three members of the House identify as Hindu, all of whom were reelected in November.

The 116th Congress will have two Buddhists, with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats face mounting hurdles to agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations This week: Congress returns with lengthy to-do list MORE (D-Hawaii) in the Senate and Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonOvernight Defense: Navy medic killed after wounding 2 sailors in Maryland shooting | Dems push Biden for limits on military gear transferred to police | First day of talks on Iran deal 'constructive' House Democrats push Biden to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police Elizabeth Warren: Filibuster 'has deep roots in racism' MORE (D-Ga.) in the House.

Veterans

The 116th Congress includes 96 veterans, down six from the last Congress. There are 77 serving in the House and 19 in the Senate.

While the overall number is down, there are a record number of female former service members. Seven female veterans will serve in Congress, including Sens. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthHHS expands Medicaid postpartum coverage for Illinois mothers up to a year after giving birth Political disenfranchisement is fueling environmental injustice Tammy Duckworth pressures postal service board on firing DeJoy MORE (D-Ill.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTrump faces test of power with early endorsements GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Blackburn introduces bill to require migrant DNA testing at border MORE (R-Iowa) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyArizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Ariz.) in the upper chamber and Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillGOP lawmakers request briefing on Democrats' claims of 'suspicious' Capitol tours before Jan. 6 Lawmakers question NCAA over 'disparate treatment' at women's championships NJ lawmakers ask Gannett to stop 'union-busting' efforts at 3 state newspapers MORE (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaLauren Underwood endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy in Virginia governors race Northam backing McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race The US urgently needs a maritime-focused national defense strategy MORE (D-Va.) in the House.